President Uhuru Kenyatta has lamented the Saturday night Mwingi accident that killed 10 pupils from St Gabriel Boarding Primary School was caused by human error.
“It is sad and unfortunate that we lost such precious lives whose dreams and vision were cut short by human error,” he said yesterday.
Uhuru said the tragedy could have been avoided had had all parties adhered to traffic regulations and laws.
The remarks were contained in Uhuru’s message of condolence read out to mourners by the Education CS Amina Mohamed during a requiem mass for the 10 school children who died.
The event was held at St Joseph’s Seminary in Kitui county. The mass was presided over by Catholic Archbishop of Nyeri Antony Muheria who is the apostolic administrator of the Kitui diocese.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sense of loss that I send you this message of condolence and encouragement following the loss of children in a road accident,” the President said.
He urged teachers and guardians to be vigilant and ensure the safety of children. “It is better to be safe than sorry. It is better to be late by one day than to lose precious lives,” noted the president
Kenyatta wished quick recovery for the h pupils who were still hospitalized following the accident so that they could heal and continue with their studies.
Amina was accompanied by her foreign affairs colleague Monicah Juma and he Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang. She announced that her ministry would give each of the families that lost a child in the accidents Sh. 100,000 towards burial expenses.
Other who had attended the mass were wiper leader and former VP Kalonzo Musyoka, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu former Kitui Senator David Musila and his successor Enoch Wambua as well as as former presidential candidate Mr. Kaluyu and a number od MPs.
Kalonzo whose sentiments were echoed by Musila and a number of local MPs lamented the deplorable state of roads in Kitui county a factor he said contributed the accident.
He called for fast tracking of the Kibwezi-Kitui-Mwingi road saying had it been completed the night accident could not have happened as the children who were returning to Mwingi from and educational tour would have arrived before sunset.
Ngilu said it was not time to apportion blame but to moarn the departed souls.She said her administration would sponsor the erection of a commemorative plague at the kanginga bridge in memory of the 10 school children who died in the accidents.
The for Mwingi west and central Mressrs Charles Nguna and Gedion Mulyungi respectively where the accident took place blamed the contactor who is rehabilitating the Thika-Mwingi road for having contributed to the accident by leaving a heap of marram of the side of the road.
The said the school bus rammed into the heap before flying across the Kanginga bridge and landing into the river bed.